- POSTED: 29 Dec 2013 19:01
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Bangladesh police prevented the country's opposition leader from leaving her house on Sunday to lead a banned mass march aimed at thwarting next month's general election.
DHAKA: Bangladesh police prevented the country's opposition leader from leaving her house on Sunday to lead a banned mass march aimed at thwarting next month's general election, one of her aides said.
Scores of police stopped Khaleda Zia's car as it tried to drive from her house to the march in the capital, where hundreds of her supporters are clashing with security forces, aide Shamsher Mobin Chowdhury said.
"Khaleda Zia boarded her car and tried to leave her house to lead the march. But police barred her car from leaving," Chowdhury, who is also a vice-president of Zia's Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), told AFP.
Zia was seen arguing with police at her front gate, which rows of policemen were barricading, Channel 24 television footage also showed.
Zia, leader of the BNP, has urged her supporters to converge on Dhaka for the "March for Democracy", which she had been scheduled to address from the opposition's headquarters.
Opposition protesters were clashing with police on Sunday in ongoing violence that has so far left one dead.
Supporters say Zia, a two-time former prime minister, has been under virtual house arrest since Wednesday, a charge authorities have denied.
The BNP and its allies have staged weeks of deadly protests, strikes and transport blockades to try to force Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to resign ahead of the elections. Dozens of people have been killed.
The opposition parties have announced they are boycotting the January 5 poll, fearing the result will be rigged.
The parties have been demanding that Hasina stands down and allows a neutral caretaker government to oversee the polls as in previous contests, but she has refused to yield.